GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

January 12, 2013

Crunch Time


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — Napoli update

The Red Sox contract negotiations with first baseman/catcher Mike Napoli have grown beyond frustrating over the weeks. The Sox reportedly signed Napoli to a three year deal in early December but the deal was made official.

The team had been mum on the dealings with Napoli but on Friday General Manager Ben Cherington finally gave an update.

”We’re still talking and when you’re talking, there’s hope for a resolution,’’ Cherington said. “But nothing to report right now. We have had dialogue. It’s one of those situations, out of respect to Mike and the process, I’m not going to get into detail. Whenever we’re talking and there’s dialogue, it means we’re hopeful of being able to do something, but we just don’t know yet. We’ll see how it plays out.”

Napoli would fill a need for the Sox in the middle of the order, but the hold up with the contract has to be injury related, and if he’s damaged goods the Red Sox may be better of moving on.

Westoff

sounds off

The circus that is the New York Jets just keeps getting crazier. On Friday recently fired special teams coach Mike Westoff was the latest to sound off on the teams ineptitude when he spoke about Tim Tebow’s role with the team.

”It was a mess,” Westhoff said of the Tebow situation. “It was an absolute mess. You can say whatever else you want, it was really a mess. I was very, very disappointed. There are things that Tim Tebow as an NFL quarterback, he’s very limited in some things. If you throw him in the middle of a drop-back passing offense, he will look very average at best. But if you incorporate him in different facets of your offense, I think he can be a factor. That’s what I thought we were going to do, but we never did it.”

Divisional Predictions

The Divisional round of the NFL playoffs is one of the most exciting weeks in the sports calendar year as the pretenders are all gone and only contenders remain. This week offers us four excellent matchups starting on Saturday with the Broncos and Ravens and finishing on Sunday with the Patriots and Texans.

On Saturday the Ravens will give the Broncos a fight, but Peyton Manning will make one play too many to lead Denver to a 24-21 win. On Saturday night Aaron Rodgers has a monster game and lifts the Packers into the NFC title game with a 28-20 win.

In the early game Sunday Matt Ryan finally gets over the hype and the Falcons beat the Seahawks 27-14. In the late game Sunday the Patriots take care of business and beat the Texans again, this time in a much closer game 35-24.

-Compiled by Nick Curcuru